Definition of unmoor in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Release the moorings of (a vessel)

    ‘the ship was ready to be unmoored’
    • ‘Buffeted by market forces and unmoored by the American Institute of Architects' inability to set and enforce professional fee guidelines (thanks to antitrust laws), architects have no dock in this storm.’
    • ‘Yet, sexual obsession, sexual love, really helps writers to write: it can stimulate the writer to an extreme awareness of a person different than himself; it unmoors him from his habitual life helping him to see things anew.’
    • ‘He sighed, and removed his maroon beret, unmooring several strands of dark wispy hair on his balding scalp.’
    • ‘Kurosawa is more fascinated with periods of civil war, periods in which rigid social strictures have broken down and individuals are unmoored from their old roles, their old duties.’
    • ‘Kierkegaard's models were Abraham on the day he was asked to sacrifice Isaac and Jesus' disciples: tormented by uncertainty, unmoored from any of society's ethical anchors, staking their life on fabulous improbabilities.’
    • ‘Because his narrative is unmoored to any conceptual anchor, Halberstam tends to imbue events such as the decade-long Balkans catastrophe with too much significance.’
    • ‘At the same time, this novel does seem to preserve some testimony from the taint of confession, although in doing so it unmoors it from certain basic tenets that testimony would customarily claim.’
    • ‘Permanent Vacation and the movies that follow it are unmoored drifter's stories, and, to borrow from Down by Law, they simply realize that the slums can be pretty ‘sad and beautiful’ when you're just passing through.’
    • ‘The earnings from mooring and unmooring vessels shall be distributed in equal shares amongst the Pilots, and past and present Apprentices so employed, as well as the Pilot on watch and the one next in turn.’
    • ‘Unable to answer this question, I unmoored my houseboat and set off round England's waterways, in search of happiness.’
    • ‘Romantics like me will have to reimagine our passions as they are - unmoored to earth, like an infinitude of cell-phone messages flying through the atmosphere.’
    • ‘If I am writing a history of modern Hungarian painting, for example, and I decide to describe Csaba's paintings on their own terms, downplaying or omitting their sources, I risk unmooring myself from historical sense.’
    • ‘A study published in the journal Developmental Cell reveals how connective tissue holding a cancer cell in place might degrade, unmooring the diseased cell and allowing it to spread to other parts of the body.’
    undo, unknot, unbind, unfasten, unwrap, unlace, untether, unfetter, unhitch
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    1. 1.1 Cause to feel insecure, confused, or disconnected.
      ‘the loss of his wife has unmoored him’
      ‘one of the things that unmoored me was slowly losing control of my self-image’